This article was written by Kenyon Collegian News Editor, Madeleine Thompson. Updates to come.
An email from Associate Dean of Students Tacci Smith sent this morning has changed the policy for outdoor Saturday Sendoff events. Instead of what was last year’s Castaway assortment of cookouts and student gatherings on the South Quad, the Delta Phi fraternity will be “hosting student bands” from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Normal party policy will apply, I.D.s will be checked and no additional alcohol may be brought in. Approved areas on South campus for convening outside are now limited to “behind Old Kenyon in the Taft Cottage area, one per building, Acaland Apartments, up to three for the whole lawn, vicinity around the NCAs, including New Apts, one per block, lawn by Watson near the basketball/volleyball courts, up to two around fraternity lodgest, one each lodge,” according to the email.
Update (2:41 PM)
“That’s part of the policy that was written last year when Sendoff was changed,” said Dean of Students Hank Toutain, citing the student handbook. “There was a special extension. … I think what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to follow what’s written, either in the policy for outside campus weekend events, which this seems to fall under, or the policies that were written with regard to Sendoff. I think what [Smith] sent out was very much in line.”
The student handbook dictates under its “Summer Sendoff” section that all gatherings must be pre-registered, allowing the option for denial. The rules for outside weekend events, in which Saturday activities are considered, also require pre-registration. Typically, however, the South quad area in front of Old Kenyon is available for six game tables at 20 people per table.
Asked whether students were allowed to gather in registered groups outside on the Saturday after Sendoff last year, Director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities Sam Hughes said it “sounded familiar,” but was unsure as she does not work directly with Sendoff.
Associate Dean of Students Tacci Smith:
Last year’s Castaway had enough money [and] they wanted to keep the whole lawn. This group [Delta Phi] says, ‘We can’t manage … the entire lawn like Student Affairs does on Friday.’ They wanted a smaller section, they’re paying to have the fence moved to basically the Hanna/Middle Path area. It’s going to hold around 200-250 people.
Why can’t small gatherings be held?
Because [Delta Phi is hosting this event] and they’re providing and serving the alcohol like the party policy then small events on the lawn can’t happen because this is the event. Also, Security can’t be in six places at once. It’s the official [outside weekend] event on that day.
Did anyone else try to register an outdoor weekend event for Saturday?
Not for that time frame for out in that space. But there’s other events going on. These events were planned correctly. I have groups who are trying to register now and I’m like, ‘It’s Thursday. We don’t do it this quick.’
But isn’t the Saturday after Sendoff supposed to be different?
I treat this Saturday like every Saturday, every other weekend day through the party policy. Students think of it as an extenuation of Sendoff — that’s where the disconnect is. Saturday is a Saturday, [and] when there’s a large event [this is] what happens.
Could more Saturday events have been registered for South quad?
Yes, by Tuesday. Other events could have happened, but people needed to have registered them, talked to me early, figured that all out. And that’s all in the policy.
How did the DPhi event take shape?
[They] came to me last week, we started talking about it, all the details, they made all their plans. I don’t send out an email that says, ‘Hey folks, if you want to do a big campus lawn event, come talk to me.’ Folks are responsible for knowing the policy.
So Castaway was a unusual case?
Oh yeah. It’s still a [regular Saturday outdoor] event, they just took the entire lawn and the way they ran it felt like it was probably a continuation of Sendoff, but it was its own event. This one is smaller because of event management stuff.
Why didn’t more organizations try to register Saturday events?
Some of it’s money, some of it’s planning. I assume that people thought that it could be just like last year, not thinking of it being [a separate] event, or that they would just do what they were going to do anyway.
Based on student reactions, do you plan to do anything differently next year?
We could. People would be amazed that all the planning. We’ve done different things over the years, like Bexley block party and using the New Apt. tennis courts, and those groups seem to get it. I can easily send out an email, but [DPhi] approached me. If there was a group that had wanted to do the entire lawn … they’d have had to manage it.
*The next policy review will be in 2014